Knowing when it's time to go

Career guides try to distill jobs into basic components. 'Work hard and get ahead.' 'Be your own advocate.' That sort of thing.

But anyone who's been in an office for a while knows that human interaction undermines those components. The real trick -- and it takes a long time to learn this -- is realizing the work system isn't a system at all. It's an arbitrary and ever-changing rule set that often pushes reason to the sidelines.

That's a rough conclusion for 'system thinkers,' a category of worker Michael Lopp, author of 'Being Geek' and the blog Rands in Repose, puts himself in. Lopp is a geek.
He's a guy who likes order and predictable outcomes. And he understands that
system thinkers can face unique pressures in the office.


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